It Starts with a Story....
I recently completed my journey toward becoming a Certified Enterprise Coach with the Scrum Alliance. It was a incredibly introspective process, involving a lot of soul searching and evaluation of my personal coaching culture (traditions, habits, and behaviors). In the process, I started to find the words to describe my philosophy. Here is an excerpt from my application in which I was asked about my coaching focus:
People need to be understood. People want options. Whenever I enter into a coaching opportunity, I approach each conversation with the intent of listening for understanding, not pushing an agenda.. Once we have reached a shared understanding of their needs, I ask questions aimed at creating new thinking and opening options for them. I don’t presume to know which option is best for them; they know the context of their situation best. I simply help them generate new ideas and challenge their assumptions with gentle inquiry.
In practice, coaching isn’t as simple as an exchange of question and answer. When it involves multiple teams, many stakeholders, remote locations, and culture differences, coaching requires reaching into the agile toolbox for teaching, consulting, facilitation, and training techniques. As a coach, I am inspired by the hummingbird- precise but light and graceful. Studies show that the hummingbird is agile due to it’s raw muscle power, and I equate that to the combination of experience and tools as a coach. I position myself to listen closely and adapt my approach using those tools.
At the end of the day, whether the team is a software team communicating across 4 times zones, or a group of 15 year olds in a classroom, one thing remains true. People need to be understood. People want options.
In short, it starts with a story. Your story. Where are you now? Where have you been? Have you seen success in the past? Have you been burned? I love hearing your stories and navigating through them to help you find your next story.
It starts with a story. :)